Cons, arguments and brutal thuths

I couple of thoughts from this weekend. The first comes from something I saw on Saturday – it was a guy on some step-ladders at the local Texaco petrol station. He was increasing the price of the fuel on that sign by the road. As I sat by the traffic lights he increased the price from 86.9p to 88.9p.

Today I saw the same guy…

This time, though, he put a sign out which read..

“Spend more than 15 and save 2p per litre!”

Hmmm.. What a deal!!!

The other thing I’ve spotted this weekend is the continuing battle between British media monsters – Sky TV and newly-formed Virgin Media. On the one side of the fence is Sky TV with it’s satellite service – over 7 million paying subscribers and the Murdoch name (Fox TV etc). On the other side of the fence is Virgin Media – a new company created from NTL / Telewest and headed up by Sir Richard Branson. They’ve got 3.3 million subscribers and operate on cable.

The two companies have been arguing.

On Friday Virgin put these adverts in the national press saying, “You can get Sky One, Sky News and other Sky channels on our platform, however we’ve been in a meeting with them and they’re now asking an absolute fortune for the rights to carry the channels, so you may lose them all on March 1st”

Sky are trying to play down the argument, saying “Hey, what’s all the arguments about man? Chill out, we’re asking for the right amount of money.. oh, and please buy our broadband service, it’s great”.

Virgin meanwhile are saying, “Hey, Sky are bullying us”. Indeed, it would seem that way. Sky are pushing out special adverts trying to promote the Sky platform… but they’re only putting those ads on the Virgin platform. There’s also mysterious “breaks” and “technical issues” cropping up on big-name shows like “24” and “Lost” which…. somehow… only affect the Sky One feed to Virgin Media… (check their forum for details)… Strange huh?

Either way, the Virgin customers seem to be more angry at Virgin themselves – not Sky. There’s comments on their “fairplay” forum which say…

Whilst I have great sympathy with Virgin standing up to the Sky Empire, we do still recieve a third rate service from Virgin. Boxes with unacceptable glitches and crashes, etc.

Now to top it all, we lose the main Sky channels as well..!

Sort it out Mr Branson or start to lose customers to Sky. There’s no point turning this into a war, where your customers are the poor sods that suffer.

You need to sort this out, I’ll bet we won’t get any proce reduction if you lose the Sky channels! But that won’t worry me as I’ll be long gone to Sky

Get it sorted, at no extra cost, or I’m off to sky!!

You must retain the Sky services, such as Sky One, at no extra cost to your customers. Sky One is one of the few differences for some people between your basic package an Freeview. If the Sky channels are removed from Virgin’s service, I will have no alternative but to switch to Sky

Virgin media raised our bills already. Use THAT money to pay for Sky One.

I’ll leave you with this last comment from their forums…

Someone ought to ask Sky if they’ve ever heard of a Bit Torrent. The latest episodes are usually on line within a couple of hours of them being screened in the States